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Nicotine Addiction Discriminates Between Men and Women

Women are hit harder and hooked deeper by nicotine, a difference researchers say is often unrecognized.



By Bryan Le


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While anyone can get hooked on cigarettes, a new study has revealed that women are affected by nicotine addiction differently than men. 

New research from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria found that while men start a little later and choose to puff when they're content, women start smoking at an earlier age and tend to light up in stressful situations. Researchers also discovered that women process nicotine faster while their dependence grows more rapidly. As a result, women will begin feeling withdrawal effects sooner and have a harder time giving up the habit.

These factors can cause nicotine-addicted women to suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, and insomnia, and an increased relapse rate. Women's weight is also more severely affected by smoking, with some not quitting because they fear an increase in their appetite.

To make matters worse, these negative effects are worse the earlier one begins to smoke. That means in Austria, 21 percent of 15 year old girls smoke, as compared to 19 percent of boys the same age. 

Andeja Baewert, a researcher behind the study, said there needs to be more education about gender differences in nicotine addiction and additional preventative measures to stop minors from picking up the habit.

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